MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: NVG-291, Ocrevus, Tolebrutinib, Tecfidera

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by Ed Tobias |

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Nerve Repair Therapy NVG-291 Safe, Well-tolerated in Healthy People

This experimental therapy has a long way to go before it becomes reality. But it’s encouraging that this first step found NVG-291’s side effects to be mild and short-lasting. NVG-291 is designed to promote remyelination by modulating an enzyme called tyrosine phosphatase sigma. Researchers hope to start a Phase 1b/2 clinical trial of NVG-291 with MS patients early next year.

A single dose of NVG-291, a potential nerve repair therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS), was safe and well-tolerated among healthy volunteers in a Phase 1 safety trial, and was found to have favorable pharmacological properties, new data show.

Given the positive results thus far, a safety committee supervising the study has recommended that NervGen, the therapy’s developer, begin the multiple ascending dose (MAD) phase of the trial. To date, the single ascending dose (SAD) part of the trial has been completed across six dosing groups, the company said.

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Ocrevus Still Top Therapy for Progressive MS Forms, Report Finds

Because Ocrevus remains the only approved disease-modifying therapy (DMT) for primary progressive MS, that would seem to give it a leg up as a treatment choice. It’s also prescribed for secondary progressive MS (SPMS) patients whose disease is active. But as the story reports, some newer DMTs are becoming popular to treat SPMS, including Zeposia (ozanimod) and Kesimpta (ofatumumab). There are also some BTK-inhibiting therapies being developed that hold promise for secondary progressive patients.

Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) continues to be the most commonly prescribed therapy for progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), including primary progressive MS (PPMS) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS), according to an analysis from the market intelligence firm Spherix Global Insights.

However, other therapies are “gaining traction” among SPMS patients, the report finds.

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Phase 3 Trials of Tolebrutinib in MS Forms to Include Digital Measures

Tolebrutinib is one of the BTK-inhibiting therapies mentioned in the previous story. It’s a pill that lowers B-cell activity and is thought to also inhibit the activity of microglia (the immune cells of the brain), which has been linked to MS progression. The digital devices to be used in the tolebrutinib clinical trials may include wearable devices and smartphone apps to monitor and collect data, such as balance and walking speed, almost in real time.

Sanofi Genzyme has extended its collaboration with Koneksa to bring digital measures into its Phase 3 trials of tolebrutinib, an investigational therapy for relapsing and progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Through this joint effort, Koneksa’s digital biomarkers were applied to clinical trials of Parkinson’s disease, another disorder of the central nervous system (CNS, the brain and spinal cord).

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Study Sheds Light on How Tecfidera Kills Immune Cells

Another popular DMT is Tecfidera, which is prescribed to treat relapsing MS. It’s been in use for many years and is believed to reduce the inflammatory immune attack that causes MS. But how does it work? These researchers studied cells in zebrafish to come up with a possible answer.

The multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) triggers immune cell death by interacting with a protein called Keap-1, a new study reveals.

The study, “Wdr1 and cofilin are necessary mediators of immune-cell-specific apoptosis triggered by Tecfidera,” was published in Nature Communications.

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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

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